Hua Shan (华山)
August 9, 2005
This was my first summit after owning a digital camera. Mom and I did it as part of our summer trip after my graduation from elementary school. Hua Shan is famous of its exposed terrain. Well, I’m talking about “exposed” from tourists’ point of view. There’s no real exposure since the routes (staircases) are well protected by chains and fences. Like other mountains in China, this one sees thousands of tourists each day during prime season. You have the option to take a gondola to the upper mountains, but we opted for hiking up. It was a long way to get up there though. Hua Shan has 5 summits. We only went up the most impressive, west summit, and the highest, south summit. On the way down we refused to take gondola again and ended up descending in dark for hours. I was freaked out in darkness but we managed to get out with no mishap, and took the last train to Xi’an and continued our journey. Our round trip time was more than 14 hours and I was definitely beat.